Group veteran appointed new Havas Media Australia CFO

Havas Media Group Australia has appointed Sebastien Leblanc as its new chief financial officer, replacing Philippe Tia, effective immediately. 

Tia has left as he is relocating to London to take on a new role within the group, as global CFO for Havas agency, Edge Performance Network (EPN).

Leblanc has been with Havas business since 2007, joining as an internal auditor. His career to date within the Havas network has included CFO roles in South America, initially at Havas Chile, then Mexico and finally Colombia and Peru where he was responsible for billings of $1 billion, according to the business.

Sebastien Leblanc

Havas Media Group said that Leblanc’s extensive knowledge and management of large-scale media operations as an international CFO, as well as his proven track record overseeing “complex financial systems”, makes him an ideal business partner for Virginia Hyland, Group CEO, and the management team.

Hyland said, “I want to thank Philippe for his support and wish him the very best in his new global role. He has helped to hand pick Sebastien, who is one of the most respected Havas CFO’s within the group, to join me in Australia as we continue our growth trajectory. Automation of processes and excellence in financial management will enable the business to continue to invest in new talent and capabilities. Welcome Sebastien.” 

The outgoing Tia said that Leblanc is an ideal fit as his replacement. “I’ve known Sebastien for 14 years. He’s very carefully been handpicked as the perfect partner to Virginia Hyland to serve the new ambitions of Havas Media Group in Australia and New Zealand for the coming years.”

Outgoing Tia

Leblanc said: “Many thanks to Philippe for contributing to Havas Australia and New Zealand’s growth so successfully over the last seven years. Philippe will be missed and we are sad to see him leave, but also excited for him to have such a tremendous opportunity within Havas to support Edge Performance Network’s growth and expansion. All the best Philippe!” 

Tia has been in the role for seven years as Havas Group ANZ CFO, in which time he lead the acquisition of Hyland’s own Hyland Media last year. In moving to EPN, he returns to Paris, where he began his career within the Havas Group in 1996. 

This move furthers the continued transformation of Havas Media Australia under Hyland’s stewardship. Founding CEO of the Group locally, Mike Wilson, stood down as chairman in August this year. 

Wilson was named chairman, in the newly created role in 2019. At the same time the company announced Matt Houltham will step into the CEO role of the group across Australia and New Zealand.

Houltham was in the role for just 12 months, before Virginia Hyland took over as CEO in November 2020, following the acquisition of the Hyland Agency, completed in August 2020. Francis Coady was also appointed as the Group’s chief marketing officer in May.

Leblanc is currently in hotel quarantine with his family after arriving in to Sydney.


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